vintage everyday: 40 Beautiful Portrait Postcards of Women of the German Cinema Between 1918 and 1933

Brigitte Helm (1906-1997) was not even 18 when she was discovered by Fritz Lang for the lead in his film Metropolis. Helm played the double role of the noble and chaste Maria and her evil and sensual twin, a robot created to urge the workers in revolting and destroying their own city. Helm was subsequently often cast as the evil but oh so seductive ice queen, as in the two versions of Alraune; Marcel L’Herbier’s late silent film L’Argent; and the multilinguals The Mistress of Atlantis by G.W. Pabst, and Gold, by Karl Hartl.Helm proved, though, to be able to perform also more restrained and emotionally expressive characters such as in Die Liebe der Jeanne Ney, her first film directed by Pabst, and Abwege, a late silent film by the same Pabst. In the latter she resents her neglecting and older husband but hesitates to fall for her cousin, enamoured with her and of her own age.In real life, Helm was a timid, modest and not very ambitious personality. After a short but prolific career of some 32 films, she resented the German film business, controlled by the nazi’s. In 1935 she married, moved to Switzerland and withdrew radically from her film career, refusing any interviews. Till this day, however, she still has fans everywhere. In particular the bad Maria won’t be forgotten. For her the Mae West line is very apt: “When I am good, I am very good; but when I am bad, I am better.”

Source: vintage everyday: 40 Beautiful Portrait Postcards of Women of the German Cinema Between 1918 and 1933